The clean-up crews who risk everything

 As the Japanese government widens the exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant, it is worth remembering that not everyone is able to remain indoors or leave the area. The workers dealing with the crisis have a monumental responsibility – which could leave them with lifelong health problems, or even kill them.
After most emergency workers were evacuated yesterday, about 50 remained inside the plant. They have had to perform emergency tasks in extremely difficult conditions – battling to keep the nuclear reactors from entering meltdown and fighting off outbreaks of fire. Dressed in protective gear, they have had to pump seawater into the failing reactors to try to keep them cool, and all their work has been carried out in conditions of escalating radiation.
"I'm fairly sure the workers inside are being subjected to high levels of radiation," said Rianne Teule, an anti-nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace. "The information we have is they are working in 15-minute shifts to reduce exposure."
©Publication: The independnt

Date:16 March 2011

The EBRD acts as administrator of and a contributor to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, which was established in December 1997 by the G7 and other contributing countries to help Ukraine transform the existing Chernobyl Shelter into a safe and environmentally stable system under the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP).